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People, Power And Democracy
9:19 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Lottery Proposal: More Cash Prizes Would Yield More Scholarships

Credit Brak Perkins via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The cost of tuition at New Mexico public universities is rising and more students are taking advantage of the lottery scholarship, which pays almost full tuition for qualifying students—but fewer people are buying the scratch-off tickets that fuel the scholarship fund.

That’s one of the factors contributing to a slow-building crisis in scholarship funding.

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Local News
7:54 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Headlines: Senate Rejects Chandler For UNM Regent, Language Requirement For Navajo President...

Navajo President Ben Shelly will decide whether to send voters a bill that could remove the Navajo language fluency requirement for the office of President.
Credit Navajohistory via Wikimedia Commons

Navajo Council Approves Referendum On Language Requirements The Associated Press

Funding for the long-delayed Navajo presidential election took a back seat Friday to a provision that would allow voters to decide whether candidates should speak and understand the tribe's language.

Navajo language fluency has loomed over the election ever since a candidate was disqualified last year for failing to prove he met the requirement for the tribe's top post.

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Local News
2:42 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Bill Limiting Renewable Standards Heads To Senate

New Mexico's Renewable Energy Act requires utilities to generate a portion of their energy from renewable sources.
Credit Scott via flickr

A bill passed in the House Thursday night that would ease renewable energy requirements for Public Service Company of New Mexico, El Paso Electric and Southwestern Public Service.

The bill passed by a slim margin, one vote to be exact.

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People, Power And Democracy
1:15 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Unions Give Big In New Mexico Politics

Credit nathangibbs via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Campaign cash may be as much at the heart of the the fight over union membership laws in New Mexico as the dispute over union dues, though no one will directly say so.

Labor unions spent nearly $2.8 million in the 2013-14 election cycle, virtually all of that going to Democratic political action committees and candidates, a New Mexico In Depth analysis shows.

The bulk of that money – more than $1.7 million – went to Patriot Majority New Mexico, a political action committee, or super PAC, supporting Democratic House candidates.

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Friday News Roundup
4:50 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Headlines: Judge Says State Violated Due Process, Compromise On Drivers Licenses...

Credit Ken Lund / Flickr

Injunction Issued On Services For People With Disabilities - The Associated Press

A federal judge is ordering New Mexico state agencies to reinstate services for people with disabilities pending reassessments.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that U.S. District Judge Judith Herrera this week issued an injunction, ruling that there'd been violations of peoples' rights to due process.

Groups which requested the injunction contended that people receiving benefits and services through a Medicaid program were being harmed, and Herrera agreed.

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Local News
7:08 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Will Brandenburg Be Disqualified From Boyd Case?

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced she was filing murder charges against two Albuquerque police officers in the shooting death of James Boyd on January 12, 2015.
Credit Rita Daniels

A judge heard arguments Thursday on whether District Attorney Kari Brandenburg should be thrown off a high profile police shooting case. Earlier this year her office charged two former Albuquerque police officers with open counts of murder in the fatal shooting of homeless camper James Boyd.

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Entertainment
9:42 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Area Designers Are The Focus Of 2015 New Mexico Fashion Week

One of the 2014 New Mexico Fashion Week designers on the runway with his models.
Credit www.newmexicofashionweek.com/

Designer and educator Melissa Lea Beasley wants to build a fashion industry here in New Mexico.  Melissa and the organization she founded, the Albuquerque Apparel Center, have invited designers and fashion professionals from around the state, and around the country, to the Albuquerque Convention Center on March 25-29 for the second annual New Mexico Fashion Week.  One of the goals of Fashion Week, Melissa says, is to bring area designers together with the

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Thursday News Roundup
4:44 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Headlines: Lawsuit Over Drilling Near Chaco, Carlsbad On WIPP Fines...

Credit US National Park Service

Groups Sue Feds Over Drilling In Northwest New Mexico - The Associated Press

A coalition of environmental groups is suing the federal government over the approval of oil and gas drilling permits in northwestern New Mexico.

The groups filed their lawsuit Wednesday as they prepared to rally at the State Capitol. They contend that more development and hydraulic fracturing could harm the environment and sites such as the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The suit names the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Interior Department.

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People, Power And Democracy
6:10 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Bid To Limit Local Control Over Oil And Gas Heads To Senate

Credit J.N. Stuart via Flickr

    

 

Many counties and municipalities in New Mexico have passed restrictions on mining, oil and gas that go beyond state laws. These are things like: dictating how close wells can be to homes or imposing weight limits on trucks.

A controversial bill (HB 366) that would limit that local control, and give the state exclusive power over all matters relating to oil and gas, passed the House Tuesday.

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Local News
5:44 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Los Alamos May Face Stricter Runoff Regulations

Many of the urban discharges addressed in the petition to the EPA impact this stretch of the Rio Grande near the White Rock lookout just southwest of Los Alamos.
Credit Amigos Bravos

Should Los Alamos National Labs and Los Alamos County be held to the Clean Water Act standards for stormwater runoff that ends up in the Rio Grande? That’s the question the Environmental Protection Agency is weighing. A public comment period on the matter will begin soon.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:56 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Taking Mental Health Out Of The Gun Violence Debate

Credit Curtis Gregory Perry via CC

  After mass-casualty shootings, the national debate often focuses on preventing people with mental illness from buying guns. But at the forum hosted by UNM’s Psychiatry Department this week, researchers said that might not be the smartest way to decrease gun violence in America—or in New Mexico.

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KUNM Call In Show
12:08 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

LISTEN: Raising The Minimum Wage

Credit baumig via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show 3/12 8a: 

Lawmakers in Santa Fe are considering proposals that would raise the state's minimum wage. The cities of Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces have already done this and lawmakers are also reviewing a measure that would prevent more cities from raising their minimum wages. 

Who benefits from an increase in the minimum wage? Who is harmed? And at what point does a minimum wage equal a living wage? 

We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online or call in live during the show. 

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:46 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Headlines: Senate Panel Rejects Right-To-Work, Abortion Bills Assigned Committees...

Credit Stephanie Fitzgerald

NM Senate Panel Votes No On Right-To-Work Bill - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

A Senate panel has stopped the advance of a right-to-work bill that has drawn scores of people to the State Capitol for hours of hearings.

The Public Affairs Committee voted 5-3 yesterday to block a bill that prohibits requiring workers to join a union or to pay dues as a condition of employment and includes a 50-cent-per-hour minimum wage increase.

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People, Power And Democracy
9:40 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Update From The Roundhouse

Credit Wikimedia Commons

KUNM's Chris Boros chatted with Gwyneth Doland on recent news from the state legislature as part of our People, Power and Democrayc reporting project. Our partners are New Mexico In Depth and New Mexico PBS. 

KUNM:  Let’s start with the two bills that would restrict abortions. One would ban abortions later in pregnancy and another would require teens to notify their parents. The Catholic bishops are pushing this hard and so are groups that oppose abortions who tried for the ban in Albuquerque last year.

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Local News
5:32 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Senate To Vote On Lighter Marijuana Penalties

Similar legislation that would have lessened the penalties for small amounts of marijuana possession passed through the House in 2013.
Credit eggrole via Flickr

People caught with less than an ounce of marijuana would be issued a citation much like a speeding ticket under a proposal that is heading to the Senate floor for a vote.

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People, Power And Democracy
8:34 am
Tue March 10, 2015

International STEM Students Could Get Tuition Discount

Credit Arianna Sena

International students could get a big discount on eligible university tuition if an economic development idea succeeds in the state legislature.

The proposal (HB 481),  introduced by Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell,  would give in-state tuition to students from outside of New Mexico who come here to study science, engineering, technology and math.

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:58 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Headlines: PARCC Testing Contract In Court, Court Says All Must Report Child Abuse...

Credit Photo via www.engagingpeace.com

Arguments Heard In New Mexico PARCC Testing Contract FightThe Associated Press

Lawyers have submitted arguments in a legal challenge to New Mexico's contract with a testing company that may halt a much-debated assessment exam in the state.

Santa Fe District Judge Sarah Singleton heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could overturn a contract awarded to London-based Pearson and potentially tangle up other states using the same test.

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People, Power And Democracy
8:24 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Stripped-Down Lobbyist Disclosure Advances

Credit /

    

After stalling in committee last month, a bill requiring more transparency from lobbyists cruised through the state House Saturday after hitting only one last speed bump.

On Saturday, state Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, unsuccessfully tried to amend the bill on the floor and put some of those requirements back in.

But with just two weeks left in the session, supporters of more transparency for lobbyists say even a stripped-down bill is an important first step.

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Local News
5:51 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Lawsuit: Vulnerable Groups Should Have Say In APD Reform

Details about reform of the Albuquerque Police Department are still being negotiated.
Credit Rita Daniels

Three groups called for homeless people and people with mental illnesses to be represented in the process to reform the Albuquerque Police Department. Last week the groups filed a motion in federal court.

The ACLU joined forces with Disability Rights New Mexico and the Native American Voters Alliance to intervene in the settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Albuquerque.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:58 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Ex-APD Officer On How Police Cope

Paul Ielacqua skips stones in 2014 at Conchas Lake. He was a park ranger there from 1998 to 2001.
Credit Courtesy of Paul Ielacqua

KUNM's Public Health New Mexico reporting project has been investigating Albuquerque Police Department shooting deaths with an eye on behavioral health issues. This week, we’re looking at officer mental health.

Paul Ielacqua was an APD Aviation officer from 2001 to 2008 but has worked in law enforcement—at the Bernalillo County jail and Conchas Lake—since 1996. He talked to KUNM about how police handle their own mental wellness in high-stress situations.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:46 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

The APD Files: Officer Mental Health And Daniel Tillison

Daniel Tillison's kids work on his memorial at the site where he died.
Credit Courtesy of Mary Jobe

When the Department of Justice report on the Albuquerque Police Department came out last year, it highlighted that interactions between officers and people with mental illnesses can be volatile. It also pointed to limited services. But what about the mental wellbeing of the officers?

On March 19, 2012, the call that came in to Albuquerque police was not an emergency.

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Monday News Roundup
4:48 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Headlines: Arson Suspected At Rio Grande Sun, Auditor Finds $4.5 Billion In Unused Funds...

Credit Rio Grande Sun

Fire Inside Espanola Newspaper Office Suspected As Arson - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Authorities believe a fire that broke out in the office of a northern New Mexico newspaper is the work of an arsonist.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that firefighters were called to a fire at the Rio Grande Sun in Espanola around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

Crews contained the blaze to an office before it could spread.

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Local News
8:25 am
Sat March 7, 2015

Headlines: Trade With Cuba, House Votes To Restrict Abortions...

If the New Mexico House Business and Employment Committee is successful, Cubans could soon be buying goods and services from New Mexico.
Credit Gareth Williams via Flickr

New Mexico House Panel Eyes State Cuban Trade Office The Associated Press

A New Mexico House panel is set to discuss a proposal that would create a state Cuban Trade Office.

The House Business and Employment Committee is scheduled Saturday to debate the bill sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia.

Under the proposal, the office would identify potential buyers in Cuba for New Mexico goods and services. The office also would assist New Mexico businesses with marketing in Cuba.

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Local News
6:07 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Ira Glass On Accidentally-By-Luck Radio

Ira Glass, the creator and host of the popular public radio show This American Life, will be in Albuquerque to do a live one-man show called Reinventing Radio at Popejoy Hall Sunday at 3p.

KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel chatted with Glass about what he originally envisioned for the show back in 1995 when it first aired. There was a kind of story that he wasn’t hearing very often on the radio, Glass said.

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Local News
4:29 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Governor Supports 500-Mile Hiking Trail

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Susana Martinez pledged her support on Friday for a 500-mile-long hiking trail along the Rio Grande intended to showcase New Mexico’s beauty.

The Rio Grande Trail would start at the Colorado border and follow the meandering river as it cascades through New Mexico before hugging Texas.

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Friday News Roundup
4:43 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Headlines: Child Vaccination Exemptions In NM, Update From The Roundhouse...

Credit lu_lu via flickr

New Mexico Releases Details Of Child Vaccine Exemptions - The Associated Press

New Mexico health officials have released the number of vaccine exemptions per school district for 2014, and Quemado tops the list.

The sparsely-populated district in western New Mexico has the highest rate of exemptions per 1,000 students at 40.3. The Santa Fe district has a rate of nearly 21, while the state's largest district in Albuquerque stands at 7.2.

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Local News
5:25 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Environmentalists Sue Over Levee Project

Environmentalists worry that the project would harm species like the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher.
Credit David Powell - Hawks Aloft

 A lawsuit filed against the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife challenges a planned levee system along 43 miles of the Rio Grande. Environmentalists are concerned that the project would eliminate critical habitat for some endangered species.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:25 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Abortion Bill Also Allows Pharmacists To Refuse To Dispense Meds

Credit www.enfield.gov.uk via CC

UPDATE Thursday 3/5 at 6 p.m.: KUNM Host Chris Boros and I just discussed the two abortion bills making their way to the House floor soon, including HB 391, which requires doctors to alert parents at least 48 hours before a minor gets an abortion, and HB 390, the

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People, Power And Democracy
7:42 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Changes Would Make It Harder For Whistleblowers

Credit Arianna Sena

The state’s Whistleblower Protection Act went into effect in 2010 and since then the state has had to spend a lot more money dealing with lawsuits. A bill in the state legislature would address that by making it harder to make a whistleblower claim.

Under current law, public employees who face retaliation for exposing corruption can sue the state for double back pay. State Senator Joseph Cervantes sponsored the original measure.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:55 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Headlines: Nuclear Scientists Gather At UNM, Update From The Roundhouse...

Credit Whitepaw / Wikimedia Commons

Scientists Outline Research Wish List For Nuclear EnergyThe Associated Press

Engineers and researchers from national laboratories and universities around the country are trying to narrow the list of critical research problems the nation needs to address when it comes to nuclear energy.

The group gathered at the University of New Mexico is expected to detail its findings Thursday.

The group includes representatives from UNM, Colorado State University, Texas A&M and Sandia and Los Alamos national labs.

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